Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is important in the formation of teeth and bones. Fluoride helps make tooth enamel harder and more able to resist tooth decay.
Some communities in our area include fluoride in the municipal drinking water supply as an effective way of reducing dental decay. Fluoride can also be found in varnishes, toothpastes, rinses and other forms from the dentist.
The Fluoride Varnish Program at the Northwestern Health Unit is a fluoride treatment painted directly on the teeth with a small brush. It makes teeth stronger by making the enamel harder. At least two applications are needed each year to help prevent cavities.
Fluoride varnish can be applied on teeth as soon as baby teeth start to appear in the mouth. This is a free service from the Northwestern Health Unit.
Step 1 – teeth are dried.
Step 2 – fluoride varnish is painted on the teeth with a small toothbrush.
The Fluoride Varnish Program is offered at many community locations. Call the health unit at 1-855-407-6453 for the site nearest you.
Fluoride mouth rinses and fluoride toothpastes
Using fluoride mouth rinses is not recommended for children under the age of 6 unless given by a health professional. Fluoride toothpaste is not recommended until children are age three, or able to spit. When a child can spit out properly, use a pea size amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush. You will need to help your child with brushing until around 6 years of age.
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